Wolves have rejected an opening bid of around £47 million from Manchester City for Matheus Nunes.

Pep Guardiola is targeting the Portugal international for a late move before next week’s deadline but the Treble winners’ first proposal was instantly turned down by Wolves.

It is understood that City are set to return with another offer but the first bid, submitted on Wednesday evening, has fallen well short of Wolves’ valuation.

Signed for a total £42 million from Sporting last summer, Nunes is regarded as a key player by the Wolves hierarchy for this season.

The timing of the bid, coming just over a week before Friday’s 11pm deadline, is also a huge disappointment for Wolves who have already offloaded key players including Ruben Neves, Raul Jimenez, Nathan Collins and Conor Coady.

Wolves have raised over £90 million in player sales this summer amid concerns over breaching future profit and sustainability regulations, but the exit of Nunes is not in the club’s plans.

The 24-year-old midfielder was described by Guardiola as “one of the best players in the world” after a Champions League tie between City and Sporting in the 2021/22 season, and the Spaniard has maintained an interest.

City have moved for Nunes as Kevin De Bruyne is expected to miss the next four months after surgery on a hamstring injury.

Liverpool are also keen admirers of Nunes, with Telegraph Sport reporting last season that Wolves removed a clause enabling the Merseyside club to buy him in January this year.

Nunes was sent off in the home defeat by Brighton on Saturday and is suspended for this weekend’s trip to Everton.

Meanwhile, City are expected to formally complete the £55.5 million signing of Jeremy Doku from Rennes on Thursday after the Belgium winger underwent a medical in Manchester on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old is a replacement for Riyad Mahrez, who joined Saudi club Al-Ahli in a £30.4 million deal last month.